Every day is a day that you can perform mitzvah. To jump start newcomers’ interest in volunteerism and tikkun olam, in 1996, Rodeph Sholom started Mitzvah Weekend, a weekend generally held each fall that emphasizes our spiritual connection to tikkun olam and our practical connection with community actions.
In 2016, we celebrated our 175th anniversary as a shul, and part of that was celebrating that even at our very first meeting on October 16th, 1842, part of the discussion was how to set up ways to aid those in need. Our history of helping ranges from the Sisterhood Sewing Society in the early 1900s to helping immigrants and refugees during the Second World War, we have always
been deeply involved in repairing the world and helping our community. Please see our history page for more details.
In 2016, we worked to make our Mitzvah Weekend extra special. On Friday, November 11th, we had a special Erev Shabbat that featured Ambassador Rabbi David N. Saperstein, speaking on issues of social justice facing us today. Rabbi David N. Saperstein, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, is an advisor to President Obama, and he is the United States’ chief diplomat on issues of religious freedom worldwide. Ambassador Saperstein was Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC), and served Congregation Rodeph Sholom from 1971–1974.
On Saturday, November 12th, we had a special Interfaith Havdalah. Imam Shamsi Ali (Director of Jamaica Muslim Center) and Mother Carla (Rector of The Church of St. Matthew & St. Timothy), and members of their communities, joined our clergy and congregants in a service of song and prayers and worked on mitzvah projects that will aid refugees worldwide.
Sunday, November 13th, we had an entire day of mitzvah where hundreds of congregants did many onsite and offsite projects to help those in need. The list of results is in andwe are excited to share everything we accomplished that weekend.
Many thanks, everyone.